Murray’s 2014 Woman of Achievement

 Surprise . . . It’s Me.

               Sometimes unexpected, but wonderful happenings enter our lives, and such a one recently came to me when Murray’s Mayor D. Ted Eyre. and his staff, named me Murray’s 2014 Woman of Achievement.

I was stunned, for when Rhondi Knowlton, Assistant to the Mayor, called to ask me to attend the Murray Scholarship Pageant, where I would be so cited. I was deeply honored, but regrettably said “No” to her invitation.

The problem is, that as one’s years accumulate, at the same time the energy to enter into such functions diminishes. I rued the necessity of my decision, but knew that the energy for accomplishing what the program would require, was no longer mine.

Actually, each day I accomplish quite a bit, but do so by consciously rationing the use of my energy, so that, if one day, I have “10 Units” of Energy, I use only 8; and if I have only 7 or 8, I use only 5 or 6 that day. Works for me.

I sent sincere letters of thanks to Mayor Eyre, his assistant Rhondi Knowlton, and Leesa Lloyd, the only ones I knew who had worked on the invitation, and once that was done, I tucked it all away as a wonderful ‘might-have-been’ memory. I chose to give it no more thought, and to tell my family at some future date.

So I was surprised to find that on the night of Murray’s Scholarship Pageant, I was honored anyway, and later that night an etched ‘citation’ and an armful of roses were delivered by Rhondi to my son Bill’s, home. I was delightfully overwhelmed.

I don’t know what was said about me at the Pageant, but I hear that pictures were shown, taken at different times for use in ”Jim” and Bette Cornwell’s well-known Murray Eagle Newspaper, where I was writer, Women’s Editor and for decades wrote a weekly column Out My Window which won many State and National Awards.

Those columns truly were born from the thoughts and dreams of my mind and heart. Many readers wrote approving letters, and I still meet people who thank me for my words ‘back then’. One moment I treasure dearly is when I was in ‘line’ at a bank and a man asked if I were Ethel Bradford and as I nodded yes, he told me he saved and constantly carries one of my columns in his wallet. I didn’t ask which one, for that was his own private business, but quietly and with unspoken emotions, we looked deeply into each other’s eyes, shook hands and then went our ways. Money can’t buy moments like that.

I imagine the books I’ve written about the early days of this valley and specifically Murray itself, were also considered for such an award. Gathering the old, mostly verbal tales of the people who made Murray the City it is, has been a joy for I found those people were pretty much the same as we are, very human, and how they coped in such an undeveloped area, should not be forgotten. The Frank Mash, Felix DeNiro and Rawsell Bradford families have been here for over 100 to 150 years, and still have our homes on land that no one but we and Indians have ever used.

Probably my years of teaching at the men’s medium security section of Utah State Prison were mentioned, The title of my ‘classes’ was “Change Your Thinking and You’ll Change Your Life”, and, aware that the outer life of most of those men could never change, I hoped some words or ideas might possibly spark them to seek an Inner change.

And then, I was accepted to be one of an extremely limited few witnesses to an execution. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience and the first shock came when they took away my Driver’s License, and gave me another card, stating I was to be a witness to the execution. For about ten or so days I was without that legally demanded License, and I actually wished that I’d  be stopped for a minor traffic violation so I could surprise the Officer with my substitute card and watch his reaction. Oh well.

My work there and viewing an execution left me with great respect for all Priests and Elders of any religion who make a life-time commitment to be there when called or needed. It isn’t a fun way to spend a day or evening.

I don’t know if it were mentioned, but for many years I represented, for Utah’s AA groups, a non-alcoholic’s viewpoint in an alcoholic environment, as well as asked to several UofU classes, where questions were asked and answered.

I can only guess at how they described my life, but if anyone lives long enough, they, as I, gather many experiences and so, again I say Thank You to Mayor Eyre and his staff and also sincere thanks go to James M. Cornwell, and his lovely wife Bette, who is now deceased, but the two of them together, opened many doors for me. Gratias tibi ago.

3 thoughts on “Murray’s 2014 Woman of Achievement

  1. Congrats, I’m proud to have touch your life on occasion and share some of your reflected light.
    I love your review of the history as it passed by and the names of the signposts as you came by. Your achievements have been remarkable you have served as a mentor, a memory “jogger” for me. Luv me

  2. Marie, JIm, I am slightly embarrassed about this whole thing, but I wasn’t embarrassed or shy about any of the acts and work as I was doing those things, they were just happenings that came my way, and so I did them. I always liked to reach out to new experiences AND PEOPLE And you two are two of the many I have reached out to, and mentally embraced. Thank you. ethel

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